On March 24, 2021

The colors and fashion of Spring have arrived

By Brooke Geery
What better way to get in the St. Patty’s day spirit than with matching onsies?

By Merisa Sherman

As the sky turns a bright blue and the temps begin to rise, the special weirdness that is spring skiing begins to show its true colors. Midwinter black turns into a myriad, almost hideous bright colors. Every single shade of everything is on display — and even some that might qualify more as an experience than an actual color. Your goggles need their darkest lens to protect your eyes from the beating sun … and from that ridiculous shade of yellow, which seems to glow off the soggy corn snow. It seems fun, but will chew up your skin upon contact.

Whether it’s neon, pastels or just choosing to put aside the classic Vermont black, spring skiing is full of so much color it can seem like the mountain is vibrating with energy. It could be because the Day-Glo one-piece next to me in the liftline is resonating nuclear or because splashes of pink, yellow and green humming together in a pattern so noxious it could be in a Warren Miller film. “There’s a rare one of a kind,” I can hear him say, “because who would ever buy the other one?” But maybe it’s because the bumps are out, and nothing says soft spring bumps like dusting the mothballs from your crinkly 80s and 90s gear with the almost-dead elastic. Bula bands in crazy patterns and overly tight stretch pants pair hideously with some red, white and blue CB jacket you’ve been saving for just this occasion. You might spot some BFA pants that have survived the decades or my personal favorite: hot pink Tyrolia boot gaiters paired with a simple black skirt and the Vermont Flannel pattern I’ve been wearing since I was 12 years old.Iconic. That’s what we’re looking for when we talk about spring skiing outfits. After months of being trapped behind the simplicity of Gore-Tex, it’s time to party. Perhaps you’ve got the simple style — swapping your ski jacket for a t-shirt: either the tie dye Grateful Dead, a sky blue Stray Flakes or the classic “I like Big Bumps” shirt from June 1 a couple years ago. Bring it up a notch by upgrading to a Hawaiian shirt complete with little skiers hidden in the pattern. Or send it hard by skipping the shirt all together, rocking a pair of suspenders over your own human hair sweater.

No matter what you choose to wear this spring, choose wisely because that outfit will become your spring costume for years to come. Seriously. It will define your entire ski career. Are you a serious spring skier, sporting a Gore-Tex breathable shell (a contradiction in terms) that you purchase in a different color every year? If so, I am kind of jealous of your ski closet right now. Are you a traditionalist, where you simply pull out something you wore 30 years ago because you are excited to wear something that you’ve loved that long? Are you there for the the beach atmosphere, rocking a bikini top and only enough clothes to keep you safe? Or is this your day to be noticed — your strange combination of bright color patterns easily recognizable amongst the sea of folk making their way down the bumped up terrain of Outer Limits?

By Merisa Sherman
Rocking the gaiter tan is a sure sign spring has arrived!

No matter what outrageous color combo you choose this spring, it really won’t matter by the time you get to the parking lot. Because by the end of the day, you and the inside of your car will be covered in one of two things: dust or mud. Raining? You’ll be covered in mud from your flip-flopped toes to your elbows. A mud so thick that you can hear ski boots getting sucked into it as you walk to the car. Hasn’t rained in days? You’ll be dusting the rocks off your parking lot burger every time the wind rages by even if you turn your back to protect it. Resistance is futile.

There is no escape. Even the snow is covered in mud as it seeps down the trail like tears. Those 40-year-old pink pants are worn out, not from bumping, but from sitting on chairlifts splattered with “snirt” and oil. The trails are getting narrower, and the dirt encroaches on the sides. We know the season is ending, we’re skiing in snow soup and snow so dirty we have to wash our skis rather than wax them.

But we pretend not to notice as we hide behind our bright colors and the beers we’ve had in the parking lot. Spring skiing isn’t just a season, it’s a celebration of our entire way of life. Sure you love skiing — but do you love it enough to wear some ridiculous outfit that makes no sense while covered in mud and beating the crap out of yourself through the moguls? From tank tops to no tops and everything in between, we revel in the vibrancy of this season. We each love skiing in our own way and nothing shows that more than the colors of spring. Ski ya out there!

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